Lawmakers defeat "Labor Day Law" repeal, "Tebow" bill

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Two high-profile potential changes to Virginia schools have been voted down for the year.

A bill backed by Gov. Bob McDonnell to repeal the state's Labor Day Law, and another, the "Tim Tebow" bill, both were sacked by a Senate committee.

The campaign for the repeal of the Labor Day Law began in early January...with the governor surrounded by school children.

"It's what's happening all over the world," Gov. Bob McDonnell said January 9.

At the time, he said schools should decide on their own if they want to begin having classes before the holiday. Even Democrats like Joe Morrissey were onboard.

"And that is, elected school boards and superintendents that oughta be making the decision. And not Tweety Bird, and not Scooby Doo," Morrissey said in a late January news conference.

But it did not work out that way. Thursday, a Senate education committee voted down the repeal, bowing to pressure from the tourism industry which depends on student employees.

Many public school leaders supported the repeal. Without it, current law stays the way it is. Superintendents must get a waiver if they want to begin before Labor Day.

From the classroom, to the gridiron...and every sport in between; a bill to let home-schooled children play public sports got spiked.

The same Senate committee voted down the "Tim Tebow" bill 8-7....named after the Broncos star who was home-schooled.

A parent on the Virginia Homeschool Athletic Association expressed doubts about the bill, back in February.

"There's still a few too many questions that have to be answered," said Jack Harrell.

Questions surrounding academic eligibility, for example, and the answers will have to wait at least another year.

One last bill that would put teachers on 3-year contracts instead of the tenure-like system is still in the Virginia senate, but was not voted on Thursday.

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